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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Galaxy Watch 3 (2021): Which One Is The Best Smartwatch Of The Year?

The rivalry between Apple and Samsung just got a whole lot more heated now that they’ve both launched new smartwatches. There’s the Apple Watch Series 6 in one corner of the ring and the Galaxy Watch 3 in the other. While we all want to know which one should be crowned the best smartwatch of 2020, it’s not that easy to pinpoint a winner. Both devices boast of new and powerful features and even their prices are in the same $400 range. To really see how the Apple Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 stack up against each other, we’ve made an in-depth comparison of the two, taking their design, display, features, and battery life into consideration.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Galaxy Watch 3 Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 6Galaxy Watch 3
 
Price
Size Options40mm and 44mm41mm and 45mm
Screen Resolution1.78-inch OLED screen with 448 x 368 pixels (44mm version)1.4-inch OLED display with 360 x 360 pixels (45mm version)
Always-On Screen DisplayYesYes
Optical Heart Rate SensorYesYes
Electrical Heart Rate SensorYesYes
Blood Oxygen SensorYesYes
Built-In GPSYesYes
Battery Life3 days18 hours

Design and Display

The Apple Watch Series 6 looks every bit like a smartwatch while the Galaxy Watch 3 has more of a timeless wristwatch look to it.

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 (left) and the Galaxy Watch 3 (right) have sharp and vibrant displays.

Apple hit the jackpot with the design of the very first Apple Watch and so they haven’t had to change it much since then. So yes, the Apple Watch Series 6 looks pretty similar to its predecessors, save for a much bigger screen display. It’s offered in two sizes, namely 40mm and 44mm, both of which are 10.4mm thick. It comes in new colors too like blue (available in aluminum) and gold (available in stainless steel).

As for the Galaxy Watch 3, it’s a mash-up of Samsung’s older models, taking the rotating bezel of the first Galaxy Watch and the smaller size of the Galaxy Watch 2. Of course, it still has that circular, analog watch design that the Galaxy Watch is known for. You get to choose from two sizes, either 41mm or 45mm, both of which are 11.1mm thick. Comparing their designs, the Apple Watch Series 6 looks every bit like a smartwatch while the Galaxy Watch 3 has more of a timeless wristwatch look to it.

When it comes to screen resolution, neither models disappoint, both able to provide sharp and vibrant displays. The 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 is decked out with a 1.78-inch OLED screen with 448 x 368 pixels while the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 has a 1.4-inch OLED display with 360 x 360 pixels. According to Apple, the Series 6 is able to produce as much as 1,000 nits, making it as bright as the screen of a phone. As for the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung hasn’t disclosed anything about its brightness although you can expect its screen to remain visible even under the sun. To boot, both smartwatches have an always-on screen display.

Features

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and Galaxy Watch 3 can take on medical functions.

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 (left) and the Galaxy Watch 3 (right) can take your ECG and read your blood oxygen level.

As expected, both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 are complete with the typical fitness tracking features. They have an optical heart rate sensor, built-in GPS, altimeter, gyroscope, and accelerometer. While that sounds pretty basic, these two smartwatches take it one step further by taking on medical functions. Equipped with an electrical heart rate sensor and a blood oxygen sensor, both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 are able to take your ECG as well as read your blood oxygen level on demand. That’s pretty impressive given that they’re non-medical apparatus.

The electrical heart rate sensor is found on the Digital Crown of the Apple Series Watch 6 and on one of the buttons of the Galaxy Watch 3. All you have to do is press your finger against the sensor and it will check your heart rhythm for you, kind of like what an electrocardiogram does. This way, you can find out if your heart’s beating in a normal pattern or if there are any signs of atrial fibrillation. As for the blood oxygen sensor, it’s found on the underside of both smartwatches. It’s a helpful feature to have, especially for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, because blood oxygen level is an indicator of how the virus is affecting your body.

While both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 are advanced fitness and health trackers, the former does have a slight upper hand. If you’re subscribed to Apple Fitness Plus, the Apple Watch Series 6 lets you broadcast your heart rate and other metrics on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV as you’re following the guided video workouts. That should give you the extra dose of motivation to keep pushing harder.

Apps and Battery

The Galaxy Watch 3 has better battery life but the Apple Watch Series 6 is compatible with more apps.

The Galaxy Watch 3 can last up to 3 days on a single charge.

Battery life shouldn’t be the main reason you buy the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 3 because neither excels in this aspect. You can, however, squeeze out more juice from the Galaxy Watch 3, allowing up to 3 days of usage on a single charge given that you don’t do much with it. Expect its battery life to go down to 2 days though if you’re using its GPS feature to track your running and cycling workouts. As for the Apple Watch Series 6, it can only go up to18 hours on a single charge just like its predecessors and so you need to charge it on a daily basis.

What the Apple Watch Series 6 lacks in battery life, however, it makes up for in apps. Not only does the App Store offer a much wider variety of apps than the Galaxy Watch Store, but they tend to be of better quality as well. Because the Apple Watch Series 6 is compatible with more apps, it should be able to help you out more with daily tasks, whether it be in the area of fitness, productivity, entertainment, sleep, or travel.

Verdict

Choose the Apple Series 6 for its integration into the Apple ecosystem but pick the Galaxy Watch 3 for its classic design and better battery life.

The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 are truly neck and neck when it comes to features. Not only are they amazing fitness trackers, but they’re also advanced enough to take on medical functions such as reading your ECG and measuring your blood oxygen level. They’re on par with each other when it comes to pricing as well, making it that much harder to choose between the two.

The Apple Watch Series 6, however, is definitely the better choice if you’re already part of the Apple ecosystem. It works in tandem with Apple Fitness Plus as well as other Apple devices, making it that much easier to view your fitness metrics as you’re working out. To boot, the App Store spoils you for choice when it comes to apps.

As for the Galaxy Watch 3, the main reason you should buy it is for its design, particularly if you’re into the timeless look. While it has all the capabilities of a smartwatch, it can certainly pass off as a traditional wrist watch. Another reason to go for the Galaxy Watch 3 is for its 3-day battery life which saves you from the hassle of having to charge daily.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better features, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 3?

The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3 are neck and neck when it comes to features. Not only are they amazing fitness trackers, but they’re also advanced enough to take on medical functions such as reading your ECG and measuring your blood oxygen level.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better battery life, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 3?

The Galaxy Watch 3 gives you 3 days of usage on a single charge while the Apple Watch Series 6 can only last up to 18 hours.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better screen display, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 3?

Both models are able to provide sharp and vibrant displays. The 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 is decked out with a 1.78-inch OLED screen with 448 x 368 pixels while the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 has a 1.4-inch OLED display with 360 x 360 pixels.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one should you choose, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 3?

Choose the Apple Series 6 for its integration into the Apple ecosystem but pick the Galaxy Watch 3 for its classic design and better battery life.

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.